The creator of Konfabulator has slammed Apple for stealing his ideas to create Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger's new Dashboard feature.

Konfabulator's Arlo Rose told The Register: "While Redmond is stealing ideas from Cupertino it seems Cupertino is stealing ideas from its third-party developers. Konfabulator is the template for Mac OS X Tiger's Dashboard."

Speaking to MacObserver Rose claimed: "They have come up with an idea that is a complete rip-off of our product, plain and simple. This could potentially drive us out of business."

Dashboard – which will ship in Tiger next year – offers users instant access to accessory applications such as stock quotes, webcams, calendars and calculators. Apple refers to these applications as Widgets. According to Apple, Dashboard is built on Apple’s Expose technology. Tiger includes several Widgets, and Apple is encouraging developers to extend Dashboard with third party Widgets.

Konfabulator runs small Java script programs – also called Widgets – that perform various tasks, from monitoring weather, news, sports and stocks to adding newly designed clocks, tasks bars, search banners and more. The product was released in February 2003, and costs $25.

Commenting on the similarities Rose told MacObserver: "It's okay for companies to compete and do products with similar functionality. That's just part of business. But they are doing the opposite. They are copying our concept verbatim. This isn't good, honest competition. Then, Apple will turn around and give this away as part of the OS and make a lot of money on it."

Rose told Cnet News: "It's insulting, is what it is. They could have at least offered to work with us or to buy it."

In response Apple senior vice president Phil Schiller told CNET: "The goal of Dashboard isn't to be like anything else. It's not his stuff. What we've done is ours."

Rose said: "We'd like to let the Mac OS X community know that if they'd like to get their hands on Dashboard now rather than wait 'till the first half of 2005 they can."

Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger will be available at the beginning of 2005, and will cost $129.